Thursday, December 15, 2011

A blog about a dog

A dog named Coco(nut) to be exact.

She is our dog, our gentle little whippet.

She came to us from Kamloops B.C., and I drove 5 hours there and 5 hours back to get her, with 9-month-old Sadie and my dad. On the ride home Coco lay curled in the tightest ball in the front seat, and didn't move a muscle. The car deck on the ferry rattled her. The first walk I took her on, she decided to turn into a statue at the halfway point. I had to carry her home while trying to steer the stroller. I received many a sideways glance.

Tomorrow she will be Cara and Darrell's dog.

I know there are a lot of animal lovers out there.....I am one of them. But I have something I am ashamed to admit about Coco the Dog:

She. Drives. Me. CRAZY.

And in order to be a fit mother and wife, I must retain my sanity. Therefore, we made the painstaking decision a few weeks ago to find a great home for our family pet.

No more checking the food and water dish several times a day. No more muddy paws scratching to be let in, let out. No more clicking nails pacing the floor. No more damp snout on the back of my leg, following me from room to room and back again. No more guilt for being gone for several hours while Coco is left in the laundry room (on a comfy bed of course). No more paws on the countertop. No more pee on the rug in the playroom. No more eating her own poop. No more hearing a raised, exasperated tone exit my mouth within earshot, always within earshot, of my girls. No more dog for the MacNeills.

A meteoric burden has been lifted.

I'm sorry, I just don't have the time for you right now Coco. You are a lovely animal and I know your life will be wonderful with your new owners.

Cara and Darrell are a couple with another whippet-cross (named Sara), and Cara is a dog trainer and owns a dog daycare where Coco and Sara will spend their days. Darrell is a runner and Coco will surely enjoy a daily jog. They don't have children; Coco will get all the attention she needs.

I wanted my children to grow up with a pet. But I don't want them to grow up with the impression that a pet is a nuissance, a chore. But, at this point in MY life, that is what this dog is for me. I am spread too thin. I don't have the time. I swore that if and when we brought a dog into our home, it would be for the duration of the dog's life and I acknowledged that commitment. Unfortunately, I underestimated the extent of Coco's neediness. Whippets are an affection-craving, highly sensitive breed. I've learned my lesson.

But tomorrow will be tough nonetheless. I take comfort in knowing that she will have a better life with Cara and Darrell, who love her already. In a way, I feel like they were always her owners, and that we have been serving as Coco's guardians until her perfect people came along.

Has anyone else ever had to give up a pet? I feel awful about this.


Anonymous said...

Embarassingly we have tried about three-four dogs they have either been giveaways or from the SPCA. None of them every worked out for some reason or another. It is hard juggling pets and little children. We always found better homes for our dogs but it was still mentally draining for me. A week after I vowed never to get another dog. My husband walked in with a small little mix dog from his work. He looked at my face and said it was on trial and we could give her back. However she has worked out wonderfully she plays when we play and rests when we rest. She seems to suit us perfectly. It also helps when the kids are big enough to help feed the dog and take it outside for you. Hope this helps.

SeaBlush said...

Hey Sarah,
So sorry to hear about Coco :( My Mom just gave away one of her dogs because he was terrorizing the other dog and had punctured his eyelid in a fight. It was really sad because he was still a puppy. Sometimes you have to make these decisions. I had a cat in Taiwan called MeiMei and she drove me crazy too. Way too needy, meowing non-stop, and literally all over me all the time. I was almost happy to leave her behind with someone else... Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Acia said...

Sarah - giving away a pet, even when it's for the good of your family, is never easy (or guilt-free)! We had a 5 year old chocolate lab before Finnley was born. He was always high maintenance and extremely "energetic" (ie. hyper), but he became too much when I also had a child to take care of. Walks with him and a stroller were difficult and often dangerous, and he was starting to show some aggressive tendencies as well (perhaps from less attention and exercise). So when Finnley was a year old we left him in Saskatchewan with my sister-in-law. I felt so guilty about it, particularly because he was my husband's dog to begin with, and I was the one who prompted the re-home. But it really was for the best, and I know he's much happier in his new home. As wonderful as pets are, I think it's perfectly acceptable to put you and your family first. Don't feel bad!

Koo and Poppet said...

thanks to each one of you for the comments. They really did make me feel a lot better!!